Saturday, October 16, 2010

A kiwi in America.

I recently returned from the states after attending my partners sisters wedding.  The last time I had been there was 15 years ago.

Our trip entailed a few days in LA, then off to Vegas for a couple of nights, back to LA then  a road trip up to Lake Tahoe.  (Unfortunately all of it in a car!)

                                 Discussing the Kiwi accent with this lovely waitress from Vegas!

Being a biker of course I would like to offer some observations of what I saw,

1) I was completely amazed at the lack of safety gear that most motorcyclist wear. A back protector and a helmet seemed to be the norm, until you hit Nevada then the helmet also disappears.

2) A lack of bikes, considering the population and the affordability of bikes. On any given day in NZ if the weather is fine you can expect to pass 50- 100 riders.  I saw about  about 20 on our trip to Lake Tahoe but most were Harley riders of some group and this was in Nevada, none were wearing helmets.

3)  In LA Particular the word "chicken strip" could only be described as an understatement.  Talking to a guy in a shop he said most of the young guys were in to straight line speed and not the corners. The strips were an inch wide on either side of a GSXR I saw.  Not that I care about that sought of thing but it was certainly obvious that some of the bikes I saw did not go around corners much.
It made me wonder how they would handle the twists and bumps of New Zealand roads.

4) Off topic... The food is  a bit crap, seems to be lacking in flavour and very sweet , but it is cheap! Bloody cheap compared to NZ,  Four of us could eat out for $35 ,  two of us would struggle to do that here.  In fact America is very cheap in general,  certainly came back here wondering why everything is so expensive over here.

                             The President and I, he seemed a nice guy! A bit......wooden!

All is not lost though! I meet  guy  called Steve who was the best man at the wedding , he actually rode there on his Vstrom, and I spent many a hour talking to him about bikes and the good roads to ride.   I have since realised that what I had seen, although true is certainly not a reflection on the biking community in general and since I have been following many blogs on here I have learnt a lot more and am certainly eager to return to visit more of the country and see.

Overall I had a great time, enjoyed meeting new people and seeing some  great places, ( lake Tahoe is very beautiful, very similar to Queenstown)

I am looking forward to returning and and perhaps getting a few days on a bike.


  1. There are no corners in the desert, and if you do find one it has a stop sign on it, they don't have a choice but to ride in a straight line. You have to get into the mountains to find decent motorcycle roads.

  2. Sounds like you had an interesting visit. You need to come to Oregon next time where most of the riders are wearing ATGATT. Except for Harley riders, they seem to prefer less gear. And of course college towns where the squids (squirrely kids) are wearing t-shirts and flip flops with their full face helmets on their sportbikes. But we do have some of the best roads for riding.

  3. You are right, kids just want sport bikes and straight line speed, the Harley guys go from bar to bar drinking ;-) not a good idea. We do have beautiful roads though, check out my cross country trip recently on my blog :-)

  4. I agree with you, since i wrote this blog I have read quite a few blogs concering american roads and places to visit., and you guys do have some great rides, I have read some of your cross country blog. It is great. What a fantastic trip!!